Over the last couple of weeks I have taken a big break from the blog to try and prioritize my life, get organized and even relax a little. This summer I have started a part-time job, a few home projects, traveled, planned more trips and began training for a half-marathon. (Insert shocked emoticon here). Plus, it’s summer and I can’t help but want time to swim, go to the park, drink iced coffee and spend as much time outdoors with Luna as possible. It’s been a great summer, no complaints here, it’s just been a challenge to do it ALL. I just read an article about happiness and how happiness isn’t any achievement we reach, but working towards those achievements. It’s apparently more important to set goals, work hard and dream…or as Miley once said “It ain’t about how fast I get there, ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side, it’s the climb”. (Too cheesy? Anyone gag?)
So, I’m climbing. Some days I feel as if the peak is in reach and the next day I feel as if the mountain grew another 500 feet. It’s challenging and I learn a bit more about climbing as each day passes, but the best part is when I pause for a second and look away from the mountain. It’s when I look out and around me. I get glimpses of not only what I have accomplished, but of the people around me, supporting me and making memories with me. It’s quite a sight. I’ve done a lot of pausing over the last couple of weeks.
Here’s a few pics of my journey that you may have missed lately.
Take a look around and enjoy your view too. Keep climbing! I swear I figure out this whole juggling act out someday.
A new book was recently suggested to me for review. I love new books and I love reviews, but I’ve got to be honest when I say I wasn’t so sure about this one. The book is titled The 30-Day Ultimate Closet Guide, which is pretty self-explanatory. I am definitely a lover of organization, especially when it comes to my clothes and accessories, but my closet is already super organized. Every article is separated by color and silhouette, my shoes have their own designated spots and I throw out pieces regularly. How helpful could this book be to me? Before saying, “no thanks”, I decided to check out the website and the YouTube introduction video. Two minutes later, the author, Brittany Witkin, had me hooked.
Here’s what sold me:
–After the 30 days, you will be able to grab, go and look your best without having to think about it. My closet may be organized, but I still spend hours dwelling over what to wear. I would LOVE to not have to think about it because I don’t actually have hours to dwell, which means I usually wear the same tank top, workout shorts and flip-flops 3 times a week…or 5 days a week…
–This is where you begin to upgrade your look. I really really want to believe that I’m on top of the latest fashions and that I’m a hot cool trendy Mom. (Although, typing that sentence made me feel the exact opposite.) Anyways, I’m pretty hip, but I can admit that since having Luna, my style has been centered around whether it’s breastfeeding friendly and cheap enough that I don’t care if it’s covered in spit-up. You may find this hard to believe, but baby-friendly doesn’t equal chic and sexy.
–It’s 30 days. There are lists, calendars and print-outs. It’s basically a big challenge and something I can add to my planner. Need I say more?
–There’s a style-guide and fail-proof online and in-store shopping lists. In case you don’t understand, this mean I get to shop. I get to shop for things that I know will look good on me. SOLD.
–There’s also talk of coffee, snacks, wine and friends. Yes, yes, yes and yes.
After instantly downloading the book and reading the first couple of chapters I sent my first “partner-in-crime closet invitation”. (i.e. I told Husband he had to do it with me.) We share a closet so the entire project may be somewhat wasted if only half the closet gets organized. Lucky for me, Husband likes getting rid of crap just as much as I do so it wasn’t to hard to convince him. Also, he is always brutally honest with me when it comes to fashion. I trust his opinion when I say “does this look good on me?”
The included 30-day calendar is flexible and allows you to choose the best time for you to do the most time-consuming steps. Since we have Luna and lots of plans (including a trip to NYC) this month, we’ve decided to do as many steps as we can when we have the time. Our goal is still to be in done in 30 days, or sooner. I originally planned to write one big review at the end of the process, but after completing most of the steps for week 1 today I knew I had too much to share already.
Week 1 focuses on cleaning out all the clutter. I am 100% in to this challenge/project/guide so I am following Brittany’s rules to the T (well…mostly). She says to throw out anything you haven’t worn in 6 months, that isn’t seasonal or your wedding dress. So I did, except I did bend the rules a little. Since I have been either breastfeeding or pregnant for the last year in a half I allowed myself to keep some things that I absolutely am 100% positive I will wear, but just have not been able to yet (thanks a lot Luna).
Husband and I began with 4 labeled garbage bags (trash, sell, giveaway, gross hangers) and ended with ELEVEN full trash bags. ELEVEN. And, we literally cleaned out our closets 6 months ago and got ride of 4 full trash bags. It’s disgusting how much junk we have stored for no good reason. I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my closet’s shoulders. Our drawers and closet looks so clean! Also, kind of empty… I have to admit I’m a little scared! Even though, it’s a little scary to throw out so much so quickly, it’s also exhilarating. I no longer have to dig through shirts I know I’m never actually going to wear. Plus, I am really looking forward to the next few weeks.
In the next 21 days or so, I will be learning how to put together new outfits from what I already own, learn what looks best on my body type and hopefully purchase some new pieces that will tie the new look, new me and new closet all together! Yay me! I’ll be keeping you updated throughout the process.
I highly encourage you to check out Brittany’s site, TheStyleShaker.com and her book that was just released on Amazon. If you try the guide, please let me know how it works for you. Stay tuned!
ALSO….this is completely off topic, but I don’t really have a post that is on this topic so whatevs. There’s this really cool phone, the OnePlus One, it’s a 64GB unlocked cell phone. It works on any GSM network. It’s crazy fancy, supposed to be the best phone available, water resistant, ridiculous camera, big screen, yada yada yada, BUT it’s an invite only phone. So, even if you want to buy one you can’t unless someone sends you an invite. (Spolier alert: I have some!) The phone costs $350, but there’s no contract, so that’s cool. Anyways, I have six OnePlus One invites. Here’s the deal: If you want one of these invites then do the following:
My life is a little hectic right now. My job responsibilities have doubled (although feels like they’ve tripled this week). I am finally tackling my fears and working on conquering my anxiety disorder. We are trying so hard to figure out where we are going to live next. (Buying a place is hard!) Then, you know all of life’s other responsibilities fit in their somewhere. Making time to workout and eat healthy is the biggest challenge. So, to make my life a little tiny bit easier I am trying to stay organized…very very, painfully, organized.
First, I have a new work space! We have always had a desk in our living room, but Husband has been the primary user. For over a year he has taken it over with his enormous bulky desktop and other computer gadgets that I don’t use. However, he got himself a nice new laptop last week, and the bulky desktop is now stored in the closet…leaving a free desk for me! Woohoo!
I keep every single deadline, appointment, plan, number, lists, reminder, birthday, anniversary, holiday and memo in my agenda. Husband bought this Anthropologie agenda for me last year for Christmas and I refused to use it because it is blank…no dates, weeks, months or anything. Finally, (after lots of Husband’s nagging) I decided to take the time to fill it out and now I cannot leave the house without it. I live by my agenda.
I can work so much faster and even more productive when I can work in a clean cozy spot of my own.
I felt so great in my new clean and organized work space that I decided to organize my bathroom better. The hardest part of my day is most definitely the morning. I am such a child. EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. is a struggle. The cold weather does not help. I set four alarms every morning, make coffee, turn on Good Morning America, pump up my Top 40 Pandora playlist and still fall back to sleep on the couch every morning.
My organized desk is proving so helpful, that maybe an organized bathroom will encourage me to get ready and stay awake in the morning. To help with my big organizing scheme I got the Clip Tree!
The Clip Tree is awesome because it can go anywhere (the hallway, bathroom, shower, kitchen, bedroom, closet, etc) and hold anything. There are hooks, loops and different sized trays that are interchangeable. I put one of my “trees” in the hallways for all my scarves and crap, and this one in the bathroom for all my lady junk.
Speaking of lady junk: I LOVE everything made by Josie Maran right now. I feel all pretty and glowe-y when I wear her products. One day I plan to wake up and look just like her.
Maybe I’ll organize my closet this weekend, or maybe not. I’ve organized enough this week.
I love to plan parties, but ever since moving to NY I have had very few opportunities to host any party. So, when I got the chance to throw my sister a baby shower, I went ALL OUT.
Before I describe to you how awesome her baby shower was, I’d first like to say I did NOT do it alone. My sister has some very sweet and generous friends who offered to help the second I said I was hosting. They contacted me immediately and were willing to help with anything they could. I have heard horror stories from girls planning parties together where people don’t pull their weight, aren’t reliable, or helpful. That was certainly not the case with this party. THANK YOU to each one of them and my parents for being so helpful and willing to go along with any idea I concocted.
I chose the “rain shower” theme and carried it out through every detail of her baby shower. I’ll start with the decorations. I ordered lots of tissue paper balls to act as clouds around the house (Did I mention we held the shower at my Mom’s house?) I then used blue construction paper to cut out hundreds of raindrops. I sewed most of the raindrops together to make garlands and strands of raindrops.
I ordered a couple lacey parasols too. We strung them up in the entryway and attached more raindrops.
I used blue, gray and a touch of yellow as the color scheme and carried it out through the plates, cups, napkins, flowers, confetti and cutlery. It wasn’t the most fun task, but I also cut out lots of little white clouds, whole punched them and slipped them over the blue and white paper straws.
For the guest book (one of my favorite parts), I found an adorable fingerprint guest sign-in on Pinterest. I loved it so much and was just about to order when Zoey says, “I can make that”. So she did, and it turned out better than the one I would have ordered.
Next, came the activities. We played a game called “My Water Broke!” which is so simple and silly, everyone was willing to play. I froze about 40 tiny plastic babies (the kind you’d find in a king cake) in ice cube trays. Once everyone at the party had their drinks I passed out the frozen babies and announced that whoever’s baby melted free first must shout “My water broke!”. First one wins! I gave the move Singing in the Rain as the prize.
I also had a onesie decorations station! We bought lots of onesies, all different sizes, long sleeve and short sleeve as well as lots of supplies to use as decorations. We had fabric paint, fabric markers, tons of fabric, scissors, and fabric glue. My Mom decided to cut out some simple shapes and pictures ahead of time, which was a genius idea!
Finally, the food! The first thing I did was to ask my sister her favorite foods. I then sent the list to my co-hostesses and they divvied up the duties. Since I try to stay far far away from preparing food, I made the labels. Because I am incredibly cheesy I made every label include a word that somehow related to rain…some are a bit of stretch, but still cute. My favorite? Cloudy With a Chance of Boudain Balls.
A friend of the family made the cake, a wonderful kind-hearted woman who had a very strong impact on my life, who also happens to be one of the craftiest people I know. She is one of those talented people who can make anything. I only told her a cake with an umbrella, or something to that affect, and I love what she created!
The decorations, the food, and the activities were all great, but the best part was by far the guests. We had about 40 people show up for the shower! It was like Thanksgiving, minus the men. There were family members who showed up whom I have not seen in years! I was overwhelmed with the outcome, I only wish I had more time to catch up with everyone.
My sister was smiling from ear to ear the entire day, but she actually had the biggest surprise of all. While we were decorating, we kicked her and my Brother-in-law out of the house so I could keep all of the decorations a surprise. As they were out eating lunch, they began to discuss baby names, and it hit them…the perfect name. Right in the middle of iHop, over eggs and pancakes, the perfect name was chosen.
Micah, this Aunt could not be more excited to meet you! BTW, you are going to be one very spoiled little boy!
Want to know best part of planning a party? The shopping. That’s right, if you plan a party you get to shop, guilt-free. After all, its not for you, its for the party!
My favorite places to buy my party decorations for my sister’s shower were Amazon, Oriental Trading, and Etsy. Beware though…online shopping is a dangerous sport. A few garlands, some confetti, balloons, and a candelabra quickly turn into $400 worth of sparkly things that are completely useless. I learned that back in Party Planning 101, or what I like to call “college”.
Not all decorations can be found online, some have to be made, which requires a trip to a craft store!
I love stores like Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s, but ever since moving to NY I have stepped into a craft store maybe once. I know there are numerous ones around the city, but I have not been very crafty since moving here…there’s just not enough space for crafts. There’s not even enough space for my nail polish.
We went all the way to Union Square to shop at Paper Presentation for the shower. Okay, we were actually in Union Square for a completely different reason, and happened to see the craft store, but whatever. I needed supplies.
It’s been so long since I have shopped amongst rolls of ribbons, rows of paints, and aisles and aisles of pretty paper…it was overwhelming.
We got what I needed, and went home to craft away! The end result will be posted soon! I may even get inspired to finally do one of the millions crafts I’ve pinned!
No longer a bride. Just a dumb wife. Wedding is over. Honeymoon is over. Back to the real world.
JK…I’m not really so glum. Just sad about the fact that this very wonderful 3 week vacation is over and I have to actually put on real clothes and go to work tomorrow, and I just have a need to be a little over dramatic when trying to express myself.
Before leaving you and the concrete jungle 3 weeks ago, I made a promise to myself that I would be “technology free”, give myself a real break, and take in all of the special moments awaiting me.
If you are a Facebook Friend you know that I kept that promise for about 3 minutes. I was just so excited to share our joy and our MANY many photos, and EVERYONE around me conveniently had a laptop. It was like the universe was begging me to upload photos, write excited status updates, and “check-in” all over Costa Rica.
Please forgive the obnoxious amount of pictures I’ve been posting…if you haven’t already deleted me.
I have no self-control. But, I did not write a blog, so I should get some points for that.
The down side of not working or writing is that I am not sure how to jump back into it. I mean after a fairy tale wedding, a magical Disney vacation, an adventurous trip to Costa Rica, and lots of panicky moments, where do I even begin?!? Also, I have only had 2 hours of sleep in the last 40 hours so it’s hard for me to even tell if I’m typing or just dreaming that I am being productive.
I guess I should start from the beginning…the preparations.
After flying to Florida at the crack of dawn with Zoey, we immediately went to her old house, (wonderful and generous roommate still lives there), to open up the bazillion packages I’d sent myself and start putting all the pieces of the wedding together.
Husband (I need a better name than that…) and I have been determined to make our wedding very personal and unique. We really wanted each guest to feel like they are not only special to us, but to also be a part of our story. Each detail was carefully planned to relate to some part of our relationship.
(Right after getting engaged, I read an article about a girl who went to a wedding as a “plus one”, meaning she had never even met the couple getting married. She wrote about all the personal touches the couple had at their ceremony, and how by the time the reception was over she felt as if she’d known the couple for years. That is exactly how I wanted our guests to feel.)
Part of our plan was to prepare a “Welcome bag” for each guest or family. Everyone had traveled and spent a pretty penny to attend our wedding, and we wanted to show our appreciation. In each bag we put our favorite snacks (twizlers, hot fries, snickers, gushers, etc), gum, personalized water bottles, door hangers, and of course there own pair of Mouse Ears!
I hand-wrote a note to attach to each bag. We spent hours upon hours organizing bags and individualizing them for each group, but by far the most difficult part of this task was finding out where each person was staying.
I had to contact every single guest and ask them what hotel they were staying in and what day they were arriving…I am POSITIVE most people thought I was being obsessive, crazy, and way over controlling. All of which are qualities I possess…so I guess they were not too far off.
After all of this organizing Zoey drove me to each resort, and waited patiently as I went in and spoke to at least a hundred bellmen, receptionists, managers, and coordinators. Luckily, every hotel was pretty accommodating and gladly handed out the bags as our guests checked in. Whew.
Another personal touch was our theme: Traveling! Obviously we love to travel and consider it a necessary part of our lives. To express our love of exploring the world with everyone at the wedding we created luggage tag favors that doubled as escort cards. (These luggage tags were placed in little suitcases for each person to pick up before finding their seat.) Hand-writing and putting together all of these was the most tedious of our task. Mr. Panic and I completed this chore by ordering lots of Mexican food and watching a full-day marathon of Gilmore Girls.
The longest task, but not the worst, was our decision to write a personal letter to each and every guest. Again, we wanted to let everyone know how much we appreciate them, love them, blah blah blah. Although time consuming, it was nice to sit down and write to so many people I care about, decorate the envelope with vintage stamps, and tie them up with twine. We even used airmail stationary to tie into our travel theme.
And, to complete the travel touches, our table numbers. Each table number was actually a different country that we had traveled too. AND each postcard was actually created from a photo that we have from said countries/states. (My other half made 13 of the postcards…I made 1.)
The final bits of preparations were the little gray and yellow boxes full of lemon drops that we placed at each seat. (Thanks Mom!) And THANK YOU to all my friends who stayed up in my hotel room and helped me put all the boxes together, and then celebrated by having a dance party with me.
After months of tedious chores, and a few very full busy days in Florida, we did it. We were completely ready for our Disney Wedding.
Okay people. This is it. This is my last official blog post for a few weeks.
Except that’s kind of lie.
I have written some blogs in advance that I will post while I am away, just know I have no control over the posts or comments while I am gone…. Unless I break and decided to use the app on my iPhone. We’ll see. The goal is to stay clear of most technology.
Maybe, I’ll actually find some time to relax. I’m not even packing my laptop.
SO, if you haven’t heard, I am getting married this Saturday!!!! WOO! Zoey and I are off to Orlando at 6am tomorrow, and will be in over our heads in last minute wedding details for the next few days. The wedding is at DisneyWorld. The Honeymoon/Family Vacation is in Costa Rica, so look forward to lots of adventurous traveling blogs when I return.
Right now I am feeling SO VERY nervous. It’s the kind of nervous I used to get before dance recitals, except I’ve been feeling this way all week. I guess, in a way, the wedding is a lot like a performance. I’ll be dressed in “costume”, have my hair and makeup done, I have lines, I’ll be dancing, there will be an audience…just typing this gives me butterflies.
It is so hard to believe it was 7 years ago that I met Fiance at DisneyWorld, and a whole year ago that we got engaged! And, I’ll stop right there before I start getting all lovey dovey on you.
Thanks to all who have helped with all the wedding festivities this year. See you very very soon!